Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Car Drama

Last week my car died. A few days later the mechanic said that he couldn't resuscitate it. It's being scrapped tomorrow. Even though I used to moan about what a rust bucket it is, I am pretty upset.

What is more upsetting is my current lack of funds. Granted I could use my small bit of cash to put a deposit on a nice car and pay it back monthly, but as I don't enjoy cars that much I would really begrudge spending that money on a car. Especially since I wanted to save for a Mulberry handbag.

When push comes to shove I now have an £800 - £1000 budget, and I'm lucky enough to have a friend who is a mechanic to car hunt for me. I'm also lucky enough to have a Dad with an 18 yr old Volvo estate who is willing to lend it to me until I get a car.

I still feel in wayyyy over my head.

Why can't public transport be better where I live?!

Dr Sunshine xXx

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Moving Again and Again and Again...

I don't feel like much of a grown up. In fact when I went to see The Muppets this weekend I was probably laughing and enjoying it more than most of the children. Even though I've graduated and started working I feel like much more of a child than I did this time last year... I blame this all on moving home for my fy1 year.

In 5 months I am going to have to make the step to being proper grown up. I'm going to have to move away from home (again).


It seems like a silly thing to worry about but it's been 4 yrs since I've had to flat hunt. The thought of dragging my tired self around countless flats while I try to eye up whether or not the others there are complete psychopaths, or would actually make nice flatmates fills me with dread.

I've never lived with someone I didn't know first before.

How do you decide if you'll like someone in 10 minutes? How do they decide that they like me? Should I bring cake to all my flat viewings just in case? And when do I need to start looking?

What's even scarier is that I'll have to do it all over again in a year when I move to London. Hopefully then I can stay put for a couple of years.

I really think life would just be much simpler if I bought a caravan.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Saturday, 25 February 2012

The Long Snooze

Last night I slept for 14 hrs. I went for a little Disco-Nap at 8pm and woke up just after 10am. I must have really needed that sleep. It felt so good! Unfortunately it hasn't really made me any more productive than usual. I did however have a great dream that I had built an entire village of treehouses that myself and all my friends had moved into. It's an awesome idea.

I've mostly spent today bumming around waiting for a friend who may or may not come shopping with me today. I really want a second opinion when I'm buying some new glasses so I've been putting it off for months. I also have to get a new car this weekend... too much shopping pressure.

So much for making the most of my free time, but it feels so luxurious to be doing pretty much nothing after the week I have had. Next week is another week with 2 on calls so I'm guessing that I'll be having a similar massive snooze next Friday.

I had the surreal experience of spending a couple of hours yesterday at work with 6th formers who want to apply to medicine, 2 of whom were younger brothers of my school friends. It was great to see all of these 16-17 yr olds who were working hard and trying their best to get into medical school, but it was so hard to articulate the reality of being a doctor. On one hand I wanted to be honest and give them the negative sides, but I love my job so much that I couldn't help but enthuse over all the fantastic aspects as well. I definitely gave a biased-towards studying medicine outlook.

I did however feel like making them go and have a sniff of one of the wards I'm working on at the moment. It's a colorectal ward and it has the worst ventilation ever so it constantly stinks like a massive poo-bomb has exploded. It's so awful that I'm convinced I smell of poo when I get home.

Anyway I'm off to try and hunt down this friend who promised me a trip to the shops before they all close... perhaps I should look at buying myself some new perfume!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Awkward, much?

I always find talking about certain bodily things a little awkward.

I'm not quite sure why, but I find explaining a rectal examination much more awkward than actually doing one. In fact doing a rectal exam doesn't embarass me in the slightest. There is something intrinsicly awful about explaining to someone years my senior exactly where I am going to put my finger.

I still haven't decided the best way to say it. To tell someone I am going to examine their back passage just seems cringeworthy, but apparently telling someone I am going to stick a finger up their bottom is a little too blunt.

What is the most awkward thing is having to explain to someone you know from school that they need a rectal examination. Then, worse than that, them saying "Well I'd rather you just did it now, otherwise I'll be waiting ages for another doctor."

Mind boggling how much this person trusted me. It must be so weird being a doctor in a small community where this would happen lots.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

And So It Continues...

While I was a student I thought I led a pretty stressful life. Exams, lectures and lectures all taking up hours of what I thought would be my free time. Now I knew that when I graduated I'd still have a lot of work, but at the moment it really feels like I'm doing even more academic work than usual...

I'm revising for a postgraduate exam. I'm doing 2 audits. I'm writing a review paper. I'm making powerpoint presentations for peer teaching and medical student teaching. Somehow in amongst all of that I'm working 48 hours (although looking at my rota it averages at nearer 60) every week.

How do I do it?!

I don't. I just stress about my inability to get it done and spend the little amount of free time I have trying to maintain some kind of relationship with my friends. I also make sure I keep up to date with Desperate Housewives, this is nearly as important to me as passing my postgraduate exams.

I do enjoy it (when I'm not dying of exhaustion), and I keep telling myself it will all be worth it this time next year when I have a job offer and I can chill out for a couple of months. I just have to try and survive that long...

Dr Sunshine xXx

Monday, 20 February 2012

Should Have Bought a Ford

My car is the laughing stock of all the other cars at work. This doesn't bother me too much as I don't measure my own worth by the car I drive. For me I just want something with 4 wheels that starts in the morning and gets me to and from work.

Apparently now even this is too much to ask.

I drive a 9 yr old Rover 25.

The seals on the doors let water in.

The light behind the dashboard doesn't work.

The windows aren't electric.

The boot doesn't shut properly.

The exhaust fell off once.

There is no heating.

In fact this morning the inside of my car was so cold I had to scrape the ice off the inside of the windscreen. My hands then went completely numb during the drive in and the thermometer inside the car read -1.

All this aside as long as it got me to and from work I didn't really care.

Today it died. It died on a large roundabout, in the middle of said large roundabout. The mechanic isn't sure if it can be resurrected. I have a 15 mile drive either way to and from work each day. Erp.

I bet this wouldn't have happened if I'd got a Ford.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Taking The Piss

Somewhere among all the piles of paperwork that I seem to spend all my days at work ploughing through are the little joys that are practical skills. After 2 hours of writing discharge notifications, even the satisfaction of getting a cannula in is enough to make my heart do a little leap of joy.

Weirdly there is one skill that I look forward to more than any others.


Before you get too worried I don't have some weird kink about sticking things up willies. In fact I generally don't really like getting up close and personal with strangers genitalia. There's just something intrinsically satisfying about the instant relief given to a patient in urinary retention when you pop in a catheter.

Those of you who have put a catheter in someone who is retaining urine will know exactly what I mean, for those who haven't I'll try to explain. Think about how bad it feels when you're desperate for a wee. Now multiply that by 10. In fact imagine you need a wee so bad that your abdomen becomes so distended that your whole belly is stretched tight and the pain is excruciating. Then imagine how awesome it feels when someone pops a little tube in and all of a sudden all that pressure and pain is gone. Then imagine how great it must feel to see the look on your patient's face when you realise that's what you've done for them.


NB: this feeling is less awesome if you are unprepared and hose yourself in urine. (Thankfully I learnt from a friend's mistake).

Dr Sunshine xXx

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Valentine's Humbug

I'm pretty sure that this post won't go down too well with all the Valentine's scrooges. Sod it. I really like Valentine's day. I know that all the lovey-dovey stuff was invented by card companies to make extra money, but I simply don't care. I think it's awesome. So meh to all of those people who say it's a stupid day.

Granted if you are single it can suck a bit to see everyone loved up, but I like to make the most of it. I like to send cards to my best friends because I love them. I love the fact the kiddies in my close family send me cards too. In fact this year I got a card of a girly friend, 3 cards off the kids, a tin of love heart sweeties from the kiddies and a wibbly turtle from my Papa.

I'm also lucky enough that this year I got to wake up next to someone special and enjoy croissants with raspberry jam. It was an even bigger surprise that when I got home there was a big bunch of flowers waiting for me. Yay!

While I'm still feeling mushy I also want to say thanks for all the lovely comments on my last 2 posts. It's really got me in the mood for blogging. In fact I'm in such an awesome mood all round that even the thought of getting up early tomorrow morning for work can't get me down. Nor can the fact that I'm on call and I have ePortfolio dramas.
On a completely unrelated note I get to be a balloon animal making clown at a charity fundraiser soon. Is that not the coolest thing ever? I am beyond excited!

Dr Sunshine xXx                                                                                                   

Sunday, 12 February 2012

"Hello... Its Sunshine the Surgical F1 On Call..."

You have no idea how many times I have uttered that phrase this weekend. In fact I said it so much that when I answered my mobile phone halfway through Sunday afternoon I said exactly the same thing. What a pleb.

If you're reading this you're probably at least vaguely interested in what it is I do all day, especially on call, so in honor of my last ever surgical weekend on call I shall tell you all about my weekend.

Our on call weekends as juniors at my hospital are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday is much like an ordinary day at the start. We just do our own team ward round and do our own jobs. As the F1 on call I do have to help clerking surgical patients in A&E if the SHO gets busy though. This Friday was insane. Not only was the surgical SHO scrubbed in for most of the afternoon we were insanely busy. I single handedly clerked at least 6 patients and saw some others with the SHO and reg as well as doing all my ward jobs. Although I was so exhausted I pathetically crawled into bed when I got home at 10pm, it was actually awesome. My day to day ward jobs mostly involve paperwork and taking bloods, so it's fantastic to clerk and examine patients and get to use my brain a little to work out a management plan.

Saturday mornings on call are generally a struggle. It's hard to face getting up when you know that you're not even half way. It's made infinitely harder when your car is as crap as mine. The internal lights don't work, first gear is a bit dodgy, the heater doesn't work and neither do the washer bits on my windscreen. This meant stopping 3 times on the way to work to scrape the ice that had refrozen off my windscreen. My feet were numb. Thankfully our surgical team are quite laid back so our handover is in the mess which means a chance to have 2 coffees and warm up.

Weekend ward rounds are epic. We have to see EVERY surgical patient in the hospital.  This means becoming a writing ninja, and being able to write in all the notes at lightening speed. Thankfully most entries are along the lines of "pt afebrile and stable, bowels open, eating + drinking, continue weekend plan". Because the ward rounds are sooooooooo long they don't finish until lunchtime. In fact lunchtime is a misnomer as it's unusual to get lunch before 5pm.

After epic ward round is jobs time. We don't have phlebotomists (blood takers) on the weekend and most of our nurses haven't been trained to do bloods.This means my own little phlebotomy round. The bad thing is that it's really boring, the good thing is that I'm now really quick at bloods. I tend to try and make it more bearable by having nice chats with the patients, this has the added benefit of earning me sweeties from all the grannies as I take their bloods. This partially makes up for the lack of lunch and is the only thing that keeps me from keeling over.

After bloods I usually have a couple of scans to argue with the radiologist for. I quite enjoy this, it's a real challenge to get the radiologists to agree to anything. I get really worried once they agree though as they clearly think the patient is quite sick too.

Then it's discharge time where I get the joyous task of writing discharges for all the patients going home. Another boring but necessary task. On weekends it's beyond frustrating when complex patients who have been in for months get discharged and the team looking after them haven't started the discharge letter. I can usually be found hunched over a computer muttering about how I'm going to kill someone on the team. I never do. If I was crueler I'd note down who it was and make sure I hadn't prepared discharge letters for their weekends, as it is I'm simply too soft for that.

All the while I'm doing this I get bleeped for various tasks.

Some bleeps are downright stupid...

Nurse "I know you said this patient can have anything that is a fluid... is tea OK?"
Me "yes"
Nurse "How about tea with milk?"
Me "yes"
Nurse "What about fruit juice"
Me "Juice is also a fluid..."

Some bleeps are necessary but demoralising...

"Please can you come to this ward and write the 3 discharge notifications, rewrite 2 drug charts and that manual evacuation is back from xray if you want to do it now..."

Some bleeps are downright scary...

Nurse "Can you please come to see Mrs Smith on ward X, she's collapsed but is now concious..."
Me *thinks shhiiittt Mrs Smith is the woman who I've just seen has an hb of 7.2 post op*
       "eep! Does she have venous access? What are her obs? Start some fluids and I'm on my way..."

But the best bleeps are like this...

SpR "What are you doing? I need you urgently now!"
Me "Eep, nothing! Where? Why?"
Spr "In the mess, the cup of tea I made you is getting cold and it's 5pm and you haven't stopped for lunch"

My favourite moments of on calls are the evening handovers though. For some reason the exhaustion sends everyone a little bit loopy and they turn into the funniest randomest moments, mostly taking the mickey out of each other for stupid things we have said or done. I'm lucky enough to do my on calls with different teams than my own team so it gives me a great opportunity to get to know the others really well. There is nothing quite as bonding as an on call shift.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Why Not?

Since I started this blog I've made lots of excuses as to why I haven't been updating as much as I used to update the old blog. In fact I half fooled myself that the main reason was how busy I am. The truth is, even when I've been curled up at home, I just haven't had the motivation to blog.

I love blogging. So why did it suddenly feel like a chore?

To be honest, I'm scared.

Since I've started this blog I've been much more open about the fact I blog. My Dad reads it, my boyfriend reads it, my friends read it, for all I know people I work with read it. This petrifies me. I could be totally honest before, opening up about everything without worrying. Now I feel everything I write is superficial rubbish.

I've been worried what people would think if I was honest about sitting in my car and sobbing after a day at work where I stroked a patient's hair as she died? If people would think I'm stupid for feeling physically ill every time I have to look after a patient in the room my Mum died in? If people would judge me for the lack of morals of saving my ash cash for a handbag?

I'm scared about writing about the pressures of living back at home in case it upsets my Dad and scared about writing about having a long distance relationship with someone 16 years my senior just in case it upsets him. In the same way I'm scared about writing all the hundreds of things about the boyfriend that make me smile just in case it comes across as a little bunny-boilerish.

I'm scared about opening up about my hopes and dreams for the future and about my fears and feelings from the past. Blogging really is taking the whole heart-on-your-sleeve thing one step further.

I really have 2 options. Firstly I can man up and face my fears, write from my heart and just deal with the fall out. Secondly I might just have to give up blogging.

I don't know if I'm brave enough for the first, but I really want to try.

Dr Sunshine xXx